Just hours after North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed a sweeping voter ID measure into law, a 92-year-old African-American woman has sued the state claiming that her constitutional rights had been violated.
At a bill signing with no formal ceremony on Monday, McCrory quietly signed the Republican bill that will require a voters to present a government-issued ID, cuts early voting days, stops same-day registration, ends "straight ticket" party voting, makes it harder for students to vote and gives poll watchers new powers for challenging voters.
The first lawsuit, filed by the NAACP, says that 92-year-old Rosanell Eaton will be disenfranchised after voting for 70 years.
"Mrs. Eaton, who was born at home, has a current North Carolina driver's license, but the name on her certified birth certificate does not match the name on her driver's license or the name on her voter registration card," the lawsuit notes. "Mrs. Eaton will incur substantial time and expense to correct her identification documents to match her voter registration record in order to meet the new requirements."
In a statement on Monday, Advancement Project Director Penda Hair pointed out that North Carolina was the first state to sign a "discriminatory voting law" since the Supreme Court struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act.
"With the stroke of his pen, Gov. McCrory has transformed North Carolina from a state with one of the nation’s most progressive voting systems, where we saw some of the highest voter turnout rates of the last two presidential elections, into a state with the most draconian policies we've seen in decades, policies that harken back to the days of Jim Crow," Hair explained.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed a second lawsuit targeting provisions that suppress early voting, voter registration and "out-of-precinct" voting.
In a video posted to YouTube on Monday, McCrory argued that he had enacted "common-sense reforms."
"Many of those from the extreme left who have been criticizing photo ID are using scare tactics," McCory asserted. "They are more interested in divisive politics than ensuring that no one's vote is disenfranchised by a fraudulent ballot."
Rosanell Eaton was expected to appear at a press conference on Tuesday with state NAACP President Rev. William Barber and other plaintiffs.
Watch this video from WRAL, broadcast Aug. 13, 2013.
Watch this video from Gov. Pat McCrory, broadcast Aug. 12, 2013.
Watch this video from Rev. William Barber, broadcast July 16, 2013.